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5 Things Optimists Do Differently

5 Things Optimists Do Differently

Optimists are known to be healthier, happier and more successful people than their negative counterparts. The basic reason for this is that their emotions help them to think positively, and they have more encouragement and motivation to move forward and deal with their daily struggles.

These optimists don’t let a single mess or a small setback ruin their day.

Being an optimist sounds ideal, don’t you think? Is it possible for you to join the circle of optimists all over the world?

Sure, it is! You’re given the chance to learn how to be one–optimism is not an inborn trait, after all. You can start by knowing how to do these 5 things differently.

1. Optimists know that you don’t necessarily need to achieve something in order to be truly happy.

Happiness comes from within. It’s a conscious decision that you need to make, whether or not things are going the way you want them to.

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If you provide a condition to your happiness, like you’ll only be happy if you’re able to achieve something, then what happens if that condition isn’t met?

Success isn’t a guaranteed factor. If you equate happiness with success, you may be happy, but this happiness stops the minute you start failing.

Give yourself the power to be committed to being happy by adapting a grateful outlook in life. 

2. They avoid negative people and refrain from encountering bad vibes.

Optimists are well aware that being negative and being positive are both contagious. So, for them to create an optimistic environment, they stay away from grouchy people who always complain.

Instead, they nourish relationships with emotionally supportive and equally optimistic people. They know that life is too short to spend with people who don’t really value them, so they choose to spend it with people who do realize their worth.

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3. Optimists respect themselves and their time.

In a way, optimistic people are like wild and brave souls–they are confident that they don’t need the approval of anyone else in order to live their lives. Positive people know that people will always judge them with whatever they do, so why bother pleasing people when it’s obvious that you can never please everyone every single time?

Optimists even have the courage and the confidence to say no to things that don’t really matter to them. They’re not pressured into doing something that they don’t really like, and they’re free to pursue their passion accordingly.

4. Optimists are resourceful people.

Successful entrepreneurs and optimists are both innovative and creative individuals. They know that they’re never going to have everything that they need, so they make do with what they have instead.

– Steve Jobs didn’t wallow in fear when he didn’t have enough money to fund his startup: he sold his only means of transportation, his VW Microbus, to finance it.

– Walt Disney didn’t go into severe depression when he was told that Mickey Mouse is a “giant mouse on the screen that would terrify women”; he pushed through and look at how famous and well-loved Mickey is today.

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– Donald Trump was bankrupt four times (in 1991, 1992, 2004 and 2009) but his resourcefulness and innovation gave him a $2.7 billion net worth today.

5. They know that life is not fair–and they’re okay with that.

Most people feel grumpy, frustrated or disappointed because they expect life to be fair for everyone.

Why does Justin Bieber have a lot of haters? Because a lot of people don’t like the fact that he gets millions just by performing and doing his hair flips regularly.

Why are there a lot of complainers all over the world? Because they feel that they’re self-entitled to everything that their neighbors have.

Why are there crime scenes? Because people feel like they’re not given equal treatment (such as equal money with the rest of the society), they should just go ahead and make things equal. By taking the matter into their own hands, they commit crimes instead.

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Optimists are not like these people. They know that life is never going to be easy–it’s never fair and it’s never predictable. In fact, they expect life to be unfair and unpredictable most of the time! They accept the fact that their friends may be given more money, that some celebrities are given more fame, and that some of their loved ones are more successful in terms of romance.

And you know what?

They’re okay with that.

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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